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Writing (MA)

Chloe Evans

Chloe Evans is a writer currently based in London. Prior to coming to the RCA she studied history at SOAS and has spent the last six years working as a legal aid immigration lawyer. This experience feeds into her writing practice and interest in the language and visual material embedded in state bureaucracy, particularly within the UK immigration system. 

She is currently working on her first book-length essay, started at the RCA, on writing witness statements with children claiming asylum and auto-fiction.

Degree Details

School of Arts & Humanities

Writing (MA)

This essay was written as part of a collaborative project titled Near, Variations in response to the writing prompt 'devise a strategy to get close to something using language'. Near, Variations is a collection of essays developed around a set out questions that have to do with the limitations of language as a descriptive technology.

The page layouts were designed by Liam Johnstone.

A series of extracts from my final major project, a fractured essay that looks at the difficulties of relying on the recollection of traumatic memory as evidence in the asylum process.

The essay focuses on my professional experience working as an immigration lawyer and writing witness statements for children claiming asylum in the UK. The bureaucratic process requires lawyers to adopt a child’s ‘I’ and draft an account of their life which they will rely on as their narrative to explain why they should be granted asylum by the Home Office. The structure of the essay is an assemblage form of hazy memories and traumatic narratives both personal and of the brave children I have worked with, and resists any chronological order. In collaging these voices together, it aims to draw attention to the fictitious nature of any 'objective' truth in translating a life, and the problematic nature of requiring children to re-perform their trauma for bureaucratic purposes. This piece considers the witness statements link to autofiction and looks at different artists and writers that are interested in issues surrounding the accuracy of recalling memory.

Short extract from an extended essay based on a series of interviews with Senegalese portrait photographer, Oumar Ly (b. 1943 - 2016).